To God be the glory

“Now to him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith – to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen” (Romans 16:25-27 NKJV).

Paul’s letter to Roman Christians is widely recognized as the most complete explanation of the nature of the gospel of Jesus Christ found in any single New Testament document. It begins with an assertion that there is one true God who is manifest through his creation (Romans 1:19-21). It ends with a beautiful doxology (an attribution of honor or glory to God) to “God, alone wise.”

There are many reasons why humans should and do worship the God of heaven. All of his divine attributes (power, eternity, love, etc.) prove him worthy of praise, as do his countless deeds on behalf of mankind. While acknowledging many of those motives for worship, the apostle focuses particularly on God’s infinite wisdom in this letter. In its concluding statement of praise God is glorified because he alone has the wisdom and knowledge which produced the means by which man can be saved from depths of evil into which he had fallen, that is the gospel of salvation through Christ (Romans 7:24-8:1).

When we argue for evidence establishing the existence of God we often go to the works of creation as proof of his wisdom. How else could all of the incredibly complex organisms and machinations of the universe be brought into existence to form such a perfectly complementary eco-system? The human body is immensely complex — as are those of so many other living things — demanding a designer of infinite power and wisdom. While Paul acknowledges and agrees with those arguments, he offers one that is even more compelling to him. That is the impossibility of anyone or anything other than God devising the plan of salvation in Christ Jesus.

Put simply, God was in a quandary of his own being. As a God of justice, he found it imperative to condemn sinful mankind (Romans 3:23; 6:23). However, as a God of love he had a compelling desire to save those who sinned (Romans 5:8). Both conflicting responses were equally demanded by God’s own nature. How could he satisfy them both without contradicting himself? The answer was found in the gospel. By offering a perfect sacrifice for sin which could be made available to every believer to appropriate and apply to his own guilt (Romans 6:3-7), God was able to justify former sinners and spare them from eternal destruction.

Paul spent most of his adult life as a proclaimer of that gospel which he considered a great mystery (Romans 16:25; 1 Corinthians 2:7-16). Human minds could not devise such a plan. Human resources could not provide such a savior. Only the everlasting God possessed both the wisdom and the power to redeem his beloved creatures from their own sins. Only such a God is truly worthy of our faith and worship. To him be the glory!!

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